Bedford Police Mourn Passing of Former Chief
BEDFORD -- Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department are saddened to share news of the passing of former Police Chief Donald Eunson.
A lifelong Bedford resident, Eunson, who served the town as its police chief for nearly four decades, died on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 89.
Eunson joined the department as an officer on July 13,1953. He was promoted to sergeant in 1957 and chief on Sept. 1,1959 -- a post he would remain in for 37 years until he retired on July 30,1993. He also had a brief stint as Bedford’s acting fire chief in 1973 and served in the U.S. Navy after World War II.
During his time as police chief, Eunson was known for a mix of traditional management and a willingness to embrace new and emerging law enforcement tools.
While he seemed to embrace the role of disciplinarian and manager, Chief Eunson’s wit, occasional sarcasm and sharpness drew the admiration of his officers and counterparts. He also loved baseball, and was remembered for his regular chats about the Red Sox around the police station.
“Chief Eunson commanded a measure of respect. He worked the trenches and came off as an old-school chief, but he fundamentally changed and modernized the Bedford Police Department in many ways,” said Chief Bongiorno. “He may have carried a six-shot service revolver low on his hip, but he also made Bedford one of the first police departments in the region to embrace computers and adopt cruiser cameras, years before most other agencies.”
Born on July 5, 1928, Eunson grew up on a farm in Bedford and was part of a Bedford Junior High baseball team that went undefeated in 1945. Along with his brother, Jack, the Eunson boys kept the neighborhood kids busy with their own hybrid game that was said to be part basketball, part hockey in a converted recreation room at a barn on North Road, according to the Bedford Historical Society.
The wake for Chief Eunson will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Shawsheen Funeral Home, 281 Great Road, Bedford. Visiting hours will be from 4-8 p.m. A short funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Shawsheen Funeral Home.